Se-Ma-No announces two percent rate increase effective in March - Mountain Grove News-Journal : Business

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Se-Ma-No announces two percent rate increase effective in March

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Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 11:41 am

Beginning with the March 24 reading (the May 1 bill) Se Ma-No Electric will implement a (2 percent) rate increase.

Manager Jim Carpenter has issued the following press release concerning the increase:

Increase costs and rate increases are something that a utility company would rather not talk about Se-Ma-No Electric Cooperative is in business to provide reliable electric service to its member-owners.

The Cooperative is working to maintain the quality service you expect at the lowest possible cost. We are a Electric Cooperative that at one time had as high as 5.36 meter per mile and now have 5.32 meter per mile of electric line, it is essential that we work together to maintain our financial strength in the midst of substantial cost increases.

Increasing cost of operation including maintaining equipment, fuel, materials, wages, computer, and the system that run them, mail and postage, vehicle replacement, maintaining a 58 year old building and the upkeep of a 67 year old electric grid. To do that, we inspect 25 percent of the poles every other year and replace about 250 poles per year. We cut 185 miles of right-of-way every year and upgrading numerous services to homes and business. We spend around $750.000 building new and/ or existing power lines every year. While our miles of line continue to increase, the number of bills mailed each month has stayed about the same from 2009 thru 2012, in a range of 5860 to 5925 (5890 in January 2012). This is a quick overview of our expenses and capital investment, but almost 65 percent of our expenses is the cost of power. Environmental regulations are the biggest threat to stabile wholesale energy costs.

It is the policy of the Board of Directors of this Cooperative to develop electric rates that allow the Cooperative to provide electricity that is reliable; cost based with value added services to our members/owners and maintains the cooperatives financial strength at the cooperatives lowest cost possible. To meet these goals, an increase in the rate structure is necessary. The residential availability charge will go from $21.00 per month to $21.60 per month.

The residential Kwh rate will go from $.069 to $.07 beginning March 24, 2012. On 1000 kWh of usage the new rate will raise the bill one dollar and the availability charge will go up by $0.60, a total increase in the bill for 1000 kWh of $1.60. The rate for large industrial load will also increase by about 2 percent, but the small commercial will remain the same. This is still comparable to any place in the state, or in the nation. When consider the benefit you get from electricity, it is still a bargain.

We are here to help with our Member-Owners energy needs with energy efficiency program and advice on ways to reduce your energy consumption. Call 417-924-3291 with any question about our rate or the energy efficiency programs.